published Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Handgun Safety

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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rolando said...

The only one in the "safest" place is one that was used in Chicago...illegally, of course. [Does Chicago HAVE anything else?]

July 14, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.
rolando said...

Isn't it interesting how quickly Bennett rolled this one out...

July 14, 2010 at 12:17 a.m.
rolando said...

The absolutely safest place to keep a handgun is on your person, locked and loaded. Safe for the gun; safe for the carrier.

July 14, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

rolando, July 14, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.

Not so safe for would-be assailants. ;)

July 14, 2010 at 12:27 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Last week a father and son on Vancouver Island went out for target practice with rifles. Apparently the son adored his father. Never-the-less an argument ensued and the son,in a moment of anger,killed his father.

The community lost a civic leader,the son will go to jail,the family is devastated.

Guns are the answer for nothing. None are so blind as those who will not see.

July 14, 2010 at 12:45 a.m.
Tax_Payer said...

Parental neglect, will never make guns safe.

July 14, 2010 at 1:41 a.m.
captainrt said...

I am much more concerned about cell phones in cars than I am with guns. I have never seen a gun levitate by itself, nor a cell phone but both have killed and both have saved lives. I guess you just can't fix stupid and thats what it boils down to. It's people, not the tools we invent.

July 14, 2010 at 5:39 a.m.
EaTn said...

With a hundred million handguns in this country, if tossed loaded the lead would soon contaminate the lakes and streams like BP's contamination of the Gulf. We can do feel-good gun safety talk until we're blue in the face, but with the millions of guns floating around we may as well get used to gun fatalities being as common as automobile fatalities.

July 14, 2010 at 5:54 a.m.
woody said...

So, it all comes down to, "'s better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it...."

Following that logic the best thing our congress could do to, "...take a bite out of crime..." would be to make it mandatory for every household to include at least one firearm. Of course, then they would also have to mandate that at least one person in said household would have to be at home on a 24/7 basis to ensure the aforementioned firearms would, in fact, be used for security purposes and not simply 'bait' for some poor foolish burglar who couldn't afford his own.

Or....we could just turn the clocks back to the late 1800s when everyone (most if not all women included) carried a sidearm, or some other form of protection.

It's all too apparent today's law enforcement works mainly from an 'after-the-fact' play book. A fact I find nearly as disconcerting as all of the scenarios mentioned above.

Feeling a bit facetious today, Woody

July 14, 2010 at 6:18 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am so conflicted on this. How do you prevent such an event as this (carelessness) or the needless shooting of two officers in Tampa (crime) but still preserve this right? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say on this. (disclaimer-I am a gun owner)

July 14, 2010 at 6:26 a.m.

A Cobb County teenager died after being struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon. Another teen is in serious condition. So how should be handle this killing, Bennett?

July 14, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Please you a gun lock at home. Everytime.

July 14, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Please use a gun lock at home. Everytime.

July 14, 2010 at 8:30 a.m.
Lefty said...

"A Cobb County teenager died after being struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon. Another teen is in serious condition. So how should be handle this killing, Bennett?"

It was an act of god. Let's ban all gods.

July 14, 2010 at 8:55 a.m.
paboom said...

Child drownings account for more deaths among children than accidental shootings. Should we outlaw pools as well? Do some research people, just because the news covers every single gun accident (and few others) doesn't mean it happens frequently or is the leading cause of deaths.

July 14, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.
aces25 said...

dewey60, the day violent crimes are a non-issue is the day weapons for self-defense are no longer needed. Remaining to be a sheep is a terrible way to live.

Regarding the incident yesterday, Tax_Payer @ 1:41 AM sums it up perfectly.

July 14, 2010 at 9:20 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

Hey Mr. Burglar, would you please wait quietly over there while I unlock my gun and load it? Thanks!

July 14, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

Correction to aces25 ... even if the violent crime rate drops to 0%, guns will always be needed. The first and foremost purpose of the Second Amendment is not defense from criminals (or hunting, although both are certainly legitimate uses for firearms), but rather defense against the potential tyranny of our own government. The Second Amendment was written by people who were able to win their, and our, independence BECAUSE THEY HAD GUNS. If our ancestors had allowed themselves to be disarmed we would still be singing "God Save The Queen." If we allow ourselves to be disarmed, I fear a much worse fate awaits America in the 21st century.

July 14, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.
rolando said...

Every gun in my house is, and has always been, fully loaded, easily at hand, and ready to fire with the flip of a manual safety, if so equipped.

Each of my three children, at an appropriate age, were made fully aware of that, knew the exact location of each, and were fully trained in their use through education and practice. They could nail a squirrel with an iron-sighted .22 at 50 yards.

All their friends knew it, too [including the unsavory ones]. Had ne'er a problem one.

The only people who have child-related gun problems are those who 1) do not consider the age of their children, and/or 2) those who NEVER properly educate or train their children in the use of firearms.

July 14, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
princehal said...


Advocate the use of common sense.

Why in the hell would someone be outside while it's lightning?

July 14, 2010 at 10:17 a.m.
queeni said...

you have no talent, give it up

July 14, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.

What a sad, sad tragedy for this family. What a terrible lesson to have to learn that parental responsibility is key when caring for young children, whether a weapon is in the home or not. So many young children who are left to their devices wander off and take things apart and get into mucho trouble (my nephew could dismantle the VCR after inserting his cheese quesadilla in the port at 18 months-in minutes). That taught his young mother to never assume a child could be left alone AND act responsibly, even in a 60 second period.

Young children well into their teens are not capable of advanced cognitive judgement and rarely until their twenties and thirties do they really get the concept of long term consequences or the fear of death. Teaching a child how to use a gun and how to take care of it as this father did with the 6 year old boy is not enough. Keeping the safety on is better but not a panacea, because even young children can figure out how to take the safety off.

In days of old, when the Dinos roamed the earth, I remember when the farmers and ranchers in our area would take their kids out to target or skeet shoot. They started teaching them very young, yet would not allow them to shoot at any living thing or have their own weapon at that age. When they were older, the father would take his kid hunting, buy him/her a gun/rifle and reinforce safety and defensive action. That's it. Except for the discipline. In those days, most good parents did not spoil their children, follow them around videotaping their every move and essentially giving them the idea the kid walked on water like God does. The kid feared Papa's wrath and knew what the boundaries were. Daddy locked up all weapons-good and tight in a large cabinet (ours was in the garage).

If we had stricter gun laws (which like banning guns is technically unconstitutional and doesn't bother the gun-banner set a bit); we would still have irresponsible people and parents. Today we have Meth 'parents', stoned and drunk all the time parents, busy, scattered, stressed parents, and the age old-couldn't care less about the babies, just wanna keep pumping them out-parents.

July 14, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

If they pass stricter laws the laws should make a lot of sense. Like mandatory training and trainers who aggressively instill the importance of gun safety and parental care and storage of guns around young children. No namby-pamby handing someone a manual and saying "read it". How many folks read today? They don't even pay attention to road signs and calorie boards at McDonalds, much less a 'boring' manual. Strict background tests on possible DUI's and mental health issues might be a start.

Despite all that, after living in places with all of the above, the ignorant, the unwashed and the devilish still exist and still manage to kill each other and a whole lot of innocent people. Criminals get mostly a pass, as they get weapons faster and better than anyone else. Killing the 2nd Amendment should never be an option for all of the above reasons. The saddest thing though is the fact that innocent children are always the victims of poor gun care/handling/criminal acts. Children are never the 'problem', yet they seem to be the last 'issue' on the table when gun conundrums arise. If people today value their kids so much, then their children's safety and protection should come first.

July 14, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.
OllieH said...

rolando states, "Isn't it interesting how quickly Bennett rolled this one out..."

What exactly are you implying with this remark, rolando. The fact that Clay Bennett reacts to events with such lightening quickness should be admired.

July 14, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

canary, your last two posts were clear, concise and thoughtful. I mean that in all sincerity.

July 14, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
rolando said...

The only implication is the "lightning quickness" compared to those cartoons which result in massive Left-Prog comments, OllieH. Check them out...

But then, Bennett is paid for his uber-Left, Progressive cartoons...too many Conservative comments are anathema.

July 14, 2010 at 11 a.m.

Really excellent point Rolando. bennett is the Progressive Media too, if you consider it. And the MSM are awfully quick to report on their favorite subjects that highlight one of their pet projects: getting rid of guns, Christians, conservatives, libertarians and tea-partiers.

Funny, how lately in the news, some really important issues that will affect Americans hugely in the coming days, weeks, and years have been completely 'overlooked' by Obama's Media outlets. Out of their Range I imagine.

July 14, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.
Humphrey said...

If you have young children at home, you should put a gate around the swimming pool, and you should put a lock on the weapon.

Children should be taught about firearms and safety - whether they are in the home or not. But adults should never, never, never trust that this training is 100% effective. Children are notorious for making bad decisions. They do not think about ramifications of their actions in the same way that adults do, they do not understand cause and effect as well, they can make very poor decisions. Hidden camera sorts of studies have shown that some kids whose parents were 100% sure that their children would never pick up or misuse a handgun did so. Also, laboratory-based observations have demonstrated that children are often not able to differentiate between toy and real guns. Teach them never to point a firearm at another person - real or toy - but do not count on that to be 100% effective.

It only takes one split second bad decision from an immature thinker to have a horrible tragedy. It is STUPID to have loaded guns around children, just as it is stupid to have battery acid or bleach or poison where kids can get to it. Just as you would lock those up, lock up guns. It is fool-hardy to believe that kids are 100% trainable and that training is infallible. For most kids most of the time that will work out OK, but who wants to be that one time that something horrific happens because a child makes a terrible mistake?

Locking up firearms if children are around is just common sense. If you are so afraid of the boogieman that you are afraid to lock up your pistol, stop and think a minute about being afraid your kid won't shoot himself or another kid. Have your kids ever made a mistake about anything? Had an accident? Done something that you didn't tell them? Now, try that with life and death consequences.

July 14, 2010 at 11:25 a.m.
bret said...

A state passes it's own law circumventing the Federal law on immigration. People cheer.
Some states vow to pass similar laws, even though they would also be unconstitutional. People cheer even louder. Imagine the outcry from the same people if a state decided to pass a law outlawing handguns.

July 14, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.

Rotten apples and smelly oranges bret. IF the Feds had been doing their all, and their Duty to protect innocent citizens from gangs, cartels and criminals who cause many deaths on and over our borders, states like AZ wouldn't have been forced to pass the legislation-that-isn't-even-as-tough-on-illegals-as-the-Fed-Law is. Read it. Live there like I and millions have and then lecture us on the what's unconstitutional or not mantra.

July 14, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Don't forget to report the whole story, bret. The AZ law was written and passed only because the feds aren't enforcing the law they are charged to enforce by our constitution. They are displaying their sovereign right to defend themselves since Obama won't do his job.

You're comparing apples to oranges.

July 14, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
moonpie said...

Reading the posts above, I've found there are things I can agree with in Humphrey's, rolando's, dewey's, paboom and MountainJoe's posts.

I will say, for accident prevention, this cartoon is absolutely correct. If we all chucked our guns, there would be no gun-related accidents. I can't argue that point.

But.... this cartoon makes me sad for the family of this child. I don't blame Clay for drawing it or running it, but I'm sure the family did not need to see this. I feel absolutely horrible for this poor family and for the child who pulled the trigger. I wonder how anyone ever recovers from that kind of situation. They may forever regret the choices they made and never forgive themselves.

My thoughts are with them more than they are on any politic of gun ownership today.

July 14, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.
rolando said...

I agree again, moonpie; Bennett -- and most other news folks -- take advantage of news reports and sad occurrences, most times those involving guns and/or children. They use them to promote their and their employers' viewpoints and opinions.

But that is his [and their] job...such as it is.

Losing a child, especially a very young one who hasn't had a real chance to live, is not just sad -- it is catastrophic...something not easily closed. The self-recriminations are endless and forever.

Personally, I find using such a tragedy for personal advancement reprehensible and deplorable -- to use words allowed past our sys-censor.

July 14, 2010 at 1:04 p.m.
Walden said...

moonpie - I agree with your sentiment, and will take it a bit further. Clay should have shown more tact and chosen not to run this cartoon out of respect for the parents of the child. Isn't losing a child bad enough? But now, they have to open this paper and see the local 'toon peddler using their tragedy to make a cheap partisan political point and pat himself on the back for another cute little cartoon.

Another point, I listen to the WGOW talk boys a lot on my way into work, and Kevin West, the allegedly unbiased news spouter, referred to this child as having "caught a bullet in the chest." I thought that was a tactless way to say what had happened. It was obvious that his left leaning bent is anti-gun, and he was trying to make a point. Hey Kevin, just read the effing news and otherwise shut up.

July 14, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.
OllieH said...

I too, feel terrible for the family, moonpie.

I too, do not blame Clay for drawing the cartoon, nor would I accuse him of piling on in this tragedy. I suppose you could always make the case that a cartoon (whether it be humorous or not) could be salt in the wounds of those directly impacted by the issue or event the cartoon addresses.

Clay's job is to express his opinions using the news as a stimulus for which topics to address. Certainly, this sad story would logically evoke a debate on gun safety. Thus, the above cartoon.

I'm sure the folks in the gulf states who are directly dealing with the oil spill might take offense at some of the cartoons drawn about their plight. Does that mean that cartoonists should shy away from drawing on the spill? Of course it doesn't. Even if a cartoon uses humor to highlight the hardship of the disaster in the gulf, it doesn't mean that the cartoonist's intent was to make fun of their misfortune.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the criticism of the 'lightening speed' by which this cartoon was produced. I suppose when it's your ox being gored, you'd rather it come later than sooner. But to complain about a newsman being to quick to respond to the news, is patently ridiculous.

PS: As always, this is a brilliant cartoon. You may not agree with Clay's politics, but there is no denying his genius.

July 14, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.
Oz said...

Let's toss violent criminals in the ocean and the world will be a safer place for all of us.

July 14, 2010 at 6:23 p.m.

I suggest everyone check the statistics of Kennesaw, GA they made it a law that a household MUST own a gun. Crime rate declined significantly. Need I say more. Guns are a civil right, as the founders intended to protects ourselves and families if case is needed.

July 14, 2010 at 9:49 p.m.
ITguy said...

Dewey is correct on this one. I trained in martial arts for over ten years. We were taught to use the minimum force necessary to defuse the situation. We were taught that no one is faster than a bullet. If someone with a gun asks for your wallet, give it to him.

How many people out there have the discipline or judgment to make appropriate decisions regarding the use of deadly force? Under what circumstances would you kill another person? To defend property?

There is no 'undo' button on a firearm.

July 14, 2010 at 11:13 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Dear ignorant-in-EastRidge,

"Weapons give weak men power."


Firearms give equal power to anyone who is physically inferior (or not) to those who wish to do them harm.

"They will always want a bigger "Gun".

That's why everyone carries S&W 500's with the 10.5" barrel, right?

And that's also why no one bothers to carry those little guns that disappear into a pocket, right?

Ignorance can be cured, ya know.

"How about all of you scared of the other gun toters do something besides buying bigger and more weapons and take a class or two in self-defense."

I think you are trying to say that those who learn to provide for their own protection against more powerful and/or armed assailants would do better to learn how to protect themselves by playing touchy-feely with other hyper-aggressive testosterone junkies on a mat. Is that correct?

"I am going to tell you this from what I have seen from the pro-gun crowd you people need some weight loss classes."

Uh-oh, fat people with guns. Everybody hates fat people, right?

Plus, I'm going to tell you this, from what I've seen, that key directly adjacent to the M and opposite the N will not cause the 'puter to explode.

"Anytime you gunlovers start shooting there is always going to be someone get hurt who had nothing to do with it."

Thus, all the carnage at the gun range. And, all those dead bystanders at the many scenes a year in the U.S. where a citizens uses a firearm to protect him/herself or their loved ones. Right?

"So,how about learning how to fight instead of reaching for the weak man easy way out"

Because battery is cool, right?

Someone needs to grow up and think like an adult instead of thinking like a torqued off 13 year old boy.

It's no wonder you don't want other people to have firearms. I'd guess that you believe everyone else possesses a similar lack of control over their emotions as you do over yours.

I'd also guess that a) you're a frightened child pretending to be a big tough adult on the interwebs, or b) you're one of those guys that likes to physically intimidate others whenever possible and the idea that a little dude or dudette might evacuate your cranium when you start getting aggressive, scares the crap out of you, and/or c) you possess an I.Q. in the 90-100 range.

I'd suggest that you read some of the thoughtful comments above coming from both sides so that you may (MAY) comprehend what a reasonably well considered comment looks like.

July 15, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...


So fail.

"If someone with a gun asks for your wallet, give it to him."

Can I have your wallet. Fed-ex, or UPS either one will be fine. Oh yeah, it would be cool if you could make sure it's full of money before you ship it. Thanks!

"How many people out there have the discipline or judgment to make appropriate decisions regarding the use of deadly force? "

Do you mean like talking on the phone while driving and not using directional indicators when changing lanes? Or do you mean more like running red lights?

"Under what circumstances would you kill another person?"

Defense of life, limb, and liberty. It's pretty simple actually.

"To defend property?"

My body is my property, so yes. As for material goods, not in this state. Yet.

"There is no 'undo' button on a firearm."

Yeah, that's kinda the point.

July 15, 2010 at 12:21 a.m.

The It-ster and Dew-RaceMonger need to be put on the next bus to my old ghettos in LA. While a MS-13 or Lanark Park gangmember has a Magnum pointed at you and is asking for your money, try practicing martial arts, tea-dialogue, Progressive talk-'Therapy' or just handing your wallet over.

1: Criminals have guns, knives, shivs, machetes and other, equally deadly weapons on them. Plus they have backup, lots of Homey's keeping an eye out.

2: Once you give them what they want, they finish you off, because YOU baby, are a witness. If they go up on charges and you witness against them, their Homeys finish you off AFTER your court appearance.

The above goes on in many large metropolitan areas around the US on a daily basis. Not so much in the South, probably due to the fact that there are more gun-owners in here than anywhere else in the country. And that's why Obama and Progressives have targeted Southerners more than any other group of people in the US, as being "THOSE people (read redneck, Christian racists) who cling to guns and their religion". That quote has been used more by the Left to promote their anti-gun sentiments and take away the 'dumb folks' guns than any other I've read.

As some said above, if criminals know you are armed, they are less likely to harrass you or your area. BTW, living in and around the worst of the worst in the US, Ephesians 6: 13-18 was my REAL life-saver, IMHO. And this one: "Be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove"...especially around Evil.

July 15, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.
ITguy said...

Scotty said "Do you mean like talking on the phone while driving and not using directional indicators when changing lanes? Or do you mean more like running red lights?"

People driving cars have been licensed and must pass a test. They still use very poor judgement. No such requirement exists to own a gun. So, do you want the same people who can't drive a car responsibly owing and carrying a gun? Does that really make a safer society?

Indian, I agree 100% with your 12:23 AM post. I dare say the most gun owners have not had the training that you have had and I dare say that many are no more responsible than your average automobile owner mentioned above. My only question is why do you feel the need to be constantly armed? Does your job place you in danger? Do you live in a dangerous part of town?

Canary, If I lived in a ghettos in LA and had no means to leave, then I might feel the need to carry. However, I don't, and most people reading this don't. Since you are familiar with scripture, take a look at Matthew 5:38-40 and get back to me on that.

Purchasing a gun does not automatically give you the judgement and discipline to responsibly use it. It does give you the ability to take another person's life. If the only tool that you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If you are expecting to be confronted by criminals, every stranger looks like a criminal.

July 15, 2010 at 1:26 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"No such requirement exists to own a gun."

"...shall not be infringed."

Not everyone possesses the proper judgment and education to speak out in a public forum responsibly either(See Dewbaby above), but only authoritarians would argue that they should not be allowed to speak.

The right to possess firearms is not based upon being responsible or in possession of good judgment(though it would be nice if everyone were), it is based upon the fundamental right of self-defense, be it against predatory animals, predatory humans or predatory governments.

Once a person hits the age of majority, they are responsible for their own actions. If they prove that they cannot act in a responsible manner, they should rot away in jail. Inhibiting the rights of those of us who are responsible and who do act with considered judgment simply because of the fear that some may not act in such a manner is the most vile form of tyranny.

We are not children and we will not abide being treated as though we are.

July 15, 2010 at 5:20 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Thanks, Scotty-I feel the same way about: Consuming alcohol Driving Using credit cards Raising children Watching TV Using the internet

July 15, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
notgriscom said...

Poor Dewey Callahan from East Ridge. What a joke. What do you do for a living? Perhaps sit at home and take the government check? I can see you now. A little booze, a few smokes and a very clouded mind. What a waste.

July 16, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.
supernotgriscom said...

The safest place for my guns is in my hand.

July 18, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.
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